The Yankees signed 16-year-old shortstop Ronny Rojas to a $1 million contract on Saturday, Baseball America’s Ben Badler reports. They were considered favorites to sign the infield prospect back in July, but were forced to wait until Rojas’ eligibility kicked in after his 16th birthday on August 23.
According to MLB.com, Rojas ranked 11th-best among international prospects in 2017. His switch-hitting capability, ability to hit for average and solid defensive profile distinguished him early on, and while his power production seems lacking, he’s said to possess “gap-to-gap power” that could foretell some success at the major league level.
The 16-year-old infielder is the fourth international prospect to join the Yankees during the current 2017-2018 signing period. The club also signed shortstop Roberto Chirinos and outfielders Everson Pereira and Anthony Garcia earlier this season, and are expected to remain in the mix for Japanese pitcher/slugger Shohei Otani as well.
The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.
Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.
Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.